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Terri Schiavo Dies At Age 41

April 1, 2005
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Terri Schiavo Dies After 13 Days Without Water Or Food

Response from the disability community
Disability-related articles
Terri Schiavo's life
Political fallout
Impact outside Florida and the United States
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Terri Schiavo Dies After 13 Days Without Water Or Food
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 1, 2005

PINELLAS PARK, FLORIDA--Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo died at 9:05 Thursday morning at Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park.

She was 41.

Terri's husband Michael, his lawyers, and hospice staff were in the room with her as she drew her final breaths.

Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who had fought for over a decade to keep her alive, were at home at the time. They were informed of their daughter's death by telephone, and rushed immediately to her side.

According to various news sources, Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, and her sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, were not allowed to be with her when she passed away. They had been in the room in the hours leading up to her death, but hospice workers asked them to step outside while they assessed her condition. Bobby Schindler reportedly left the room, but said they wanted to stay. Mr. Schiavo then had police keep Terri's siblings out of the room until after her death.

Mr. Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, later said Terri's husband wanted to spare Terri the indignity of dying with armed guards in the room or in the middle of an altercation with her family.

Terri had been without water or food for nearly 13 days from when the feeding tube which provided hydration and nutrition was removed March 18.

The tube was withdrawn under a court order given last month by Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer. The judge was convinced that Terri had been in a "persistent vegetative state" since her brain was damaged following a heart attack in February 1990, and that she would not have wanted to be fed through a feeding tube.

Several of Greer's rulings since 1998 had been unsuccessfully challenged by Terri's parents, the Florida Legislature, Governor Jeb Bush, and -- earlier this month -- the U.S. Congress. On Wednesday night, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a sixth and final appeal by the Schindler family to have the feeding tube restored.

About 80 demonstrators mourned outside the hospice after learning the news of Terri's death, according to the Associated Press.

"You saw a murder happening," said Dominique Hanks, who had attended daily vigils in her motorized wheelchair. "Everybody who denied her right to live are accomplices to murder."

Dozens of protesters lingered for several hours after Terri's body was taken away. A few returned Friday for a brief Catholic Mass.

The local medical examiner also announced Friday that an autopsy on Terri's body had been completed. The results of the autopsy are not expected for several weeks. Terri's husband has said the autopsy will prove that Terri's brain was damaged to the point that she was in a persistent vegetative state. Her parents had hoped for her brain to be scanned with new technologies before her death to prove she was still alert and aware of her surroundings.

Terri's body is to be cremated according to Mr. Schiavo's wishes. Schiavo's brother, Scott, said Thursday that Michael would hold a private memorial service and that Terri's family would not be told where Terri's ashes are to be buried so they cannot attend and create a disturbance. A court has ordered Schiavo to tell the family of the burial site, planned for a location somewhere in Pennsylvania.

The Schindlers said they are planning a funeral Mass next Tuesday or Wednesday.

* Disability Activist Mourn for Terri Schiavo, Call for Action Not Dead Yet
* "We all could be Terri Schiavo"by "Voices of Disability" columnist Jerry Wolffe (Oakland Press)
* Terri Schiavo's National Legacy by Joni Eareckson Tada (Joni & Friends)
* "Terri Schiavo's Death Marks a New Beginning in the Fight for Our Lives, say Disability Activists" Not Dead Yet
* The Legacy of Terri Schiavo by Wesley J. Smith (Weekly Standard)
* Rest in Peace, Terri Schiavo by Mary Johnson (Ragged Edge Magazine)
* The Progressive Disability Perspective by Josie Byzek (Alternet)
* Disabled threatened by Schiavo case, leaders say (Baptist Press)

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* Student who Recovered from State Worse than Terri's says Terri Should Have Had a Better Chance LifeSite
* "Terri Schiavo case could affect disabled voters' views" (Wall Street Journal via The Scotsman)
* Congress to consider bills inspired by Schiavo case (Scripps Howard News Service)
* Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder by Nat Hentoff (Village Voice)
* Advocates hope right-to-die debate continues despite Schiavo's passing (Naperville Sun)
* Disabled? Dead! (Hospice Patients Alliance)
* In Shadow of Schiavo, Panel Debates How to Assign Relative Values to Lives (Newhouse News Service)
* Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Decides? In the midst of the Terri Schiavo debate, disability-rights activists look for clarity (Chicago Reader)

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Full of promise, her life took a tragic turn (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
Elevated life from humble beginning (St. Petersburg Times)
Terri Schiavo: A Life Out of Control (Pacific News)
Beloved Wife and Daughter Became Face of a Public Debate (Washington Post)

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* Gov. Bush and Pres. Bush react to Schiavo's death (Albany Capital News)
* "Terri Schiavo case could affect disabled voters' views" (Wall Street Journal via The Scotsman)
Schiavo's Case May Reshape American Law (New York Times)
Wrangling may influence judicial hearings (Associated Press via Hoston Chronicle)
DeLay insists judges must 'answer for their behavior' (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
A Very Private Issue Resonates With Public (Los Angeles Times)
A Next Step: Making Rules to Die By (New York Times)
After Terri Schiavo (Washington Post)

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Chinese Media Find the Positive in Schiavo Case (Pacific News)
Death became a visitor in America's consciousness (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
* Ex-patient seeks tighter laws on end-of-life issues (Kansas City Star)
* Case Has Mainers Facing Their Own Mortality (Portland Press Herald)

* Bill would limit removal of feeding tubes (Kansas City Star)
Brain-Damaged Child's Family Mulls Schiavo (Associated Press via Las Vegas Sun)
Holy See Grieved by Terri Schiavo's Death - describes death as a homicide (Zenit)
Cardinal calls those who helped Schiavo die 'accomplices to murder' (

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Appeals court rebukes Congress, denies request by Schiavo's parents (Miami Herald)
Court: Action in Schiavo Case 'Would Be Improper' -- dissention between supporters (Washington Post)
Opponents call for judge's impeachment (Palm Beach Post)
Long Legal Battle Over as Schiavo Dies(Washington Post)
Michael Schiavo cradled his wife in his arms as she breathed her last (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
Terri Schiavo dies, but debate lives on (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
Protesters' hope faded as Schiavo neared end (St. Petersburg Times)
Terri's legacy (St. Petersburg Times)
Anger growing over Schiavo death (BBC News)
Memorial praises Terri (St. Petersburg Times)
Funeral plans in works; deputies guard autopsy site (St. Petersburg Times)
Families planning separate Schiavo funerals (Associated Press via Houston Chronicle)
For Schiavo's lawyer, work part of a journey (St. Petersburg Times)
Schindlers' attorney is used to tough cases (St. Petersburg Times)
Judging Terri (
The Many Debates Brought by the Passing of One Life (Pacific News)
Portrait of Terri Schiavo’s Last Days song by Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. B.L.T. Mp3 format

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